Ardell Nelson, age 80, of Savage, MN, formerly of Milbank, SD, passed away on May 19, 2024. A celebration of life service will be... Ardell Nelson

Ardell Nelson, age 80, of Savage, MN, formerly of Milbank, SD, passed away on May 19, 2024.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. at Living Word Lutheran Church in Milbank. Visitation will take place at the church one hour prior to the service. Rev. Melanie Reiners will officiate, and inurnment will be at Milbank City Cemetery.

Ardell LeRoy Nelson was born in Clear Lake, SD, on August 26, 1943, to Millard and Palma “Polly” (Bjerke) Nelson. Ardell grew up in Clear Lake and graduated from Clear Lake High School with the Class of 1961. After graduation, he attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, where he joined the Army ROTC and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

 Ardell was very fond of his upbringing on the family farm. In his younger years, he enjoyed riding horses, working with his father on the farm, and playing sports, of which basketball was his favorite. He helped lead the Clear Lake Cardinals to their first and only state basketball tournament berth. 

 On May 29, 1966, he was united in marriage with Margaret “Marge” (Sivertsen) at Clear Lake, SD. They were blessed with nearly 58 years of marriage and two children, Chad and Stacey. After their marriage, they moved to New Mexico where Ardell completed his MBA. In 1968, he joined the U.S. Army. They resided at Ft. Hood, TX, for two years and then moved to the Minneapolis, MN, area. While residing in Anoka, Ardell worked at Lutheran Brotherhood. In 1972, Ardell and Marge moved to Milbank, SD. Ardell took a position with Milbank Mutual as the Director of Purchasing and worked there until his retirement in 2007.

 Ardell and Marge met on a blind date, while attending college at SDSU. She was the love of his life. They enjoyed many memorable road trips with their children in the family station wagon and camper (starting out with just a simple tent before upgrading to a camper). Ardell and Marge loved spending time at their Big Stone Lake cabin and their cabin in the Black Hills as well. They spent as much time as possible at their cabin in the Black Hills as long as it didn’t interfere with their biggest joy…their grandchildren. They were very involved in everything that their grandkids were a part of and loved every minute of it. Ardell cherished his many hunting adventures with his son, Chad, as well as their time in their workshop where they built many cherished items for family members. 

 Ardell was an active member of Living Word Lutheran Church in Milbank and a man of deep faith. He shared his faith freely and abundantly with his family and friends. After retiring, he and Marge enjoyed a trip to the Holy Land, where they grew even more deeply in their shared faith. Ardell always began his prayers with gratitude, an apt summary of how he lived his life. 

 Ardell enjoyed being active in the community and owned a side business selling sportswear. He was a member of the South Dakota State Chamber and Milbank Chamber.

 Ardell is survived by his beloved wife, Marge Nelson of Savage, MN; daughter, Stacey (David) Garcia of Savage, MN; grandchildren: Jesse (Monica) Nelson, Madi Garcia, and Dawson Garcia. They all miss him immensely.

 He was preceded in death by his parents: Millard and Polly Nelson; and son, Chad Nelson.

Mundwiler Funeral Home

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